The big question about turmeric and curcumin asks how long its explosive growth will last. Will this superstar spice ingredient sustain its popularity and reach omega-3 status or fade into the background as a once-hot natural product trend? Thanks to the wide body of data generated in recent years, curcumin’s benefits categories have broadened substantially.
Sports nutrition is an up-and-coming benefit sector for curcumin, especially in light of its potential to reduce inflammation and soreness caused by strenuous exercise. The antioxidant benefits of curcumin and its ability to modulate inflammatory pathways underscores its potential as an adjunct to recovery.1
In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, curcumin was shown to be an effective supplement for recovery after strenuous exercise.2 An additional study also reported a reduction in 24-hour pain scores as well as increased muscle performance after a muscle-damaging exercise.3
Curcumin is also finding potential in heart health, where the effects of its anti-inflammatory properties are being researched. Recently, a highly bioavailable form of curcumin was studied in a healthy population to examine its role in endothelial function, which plays a critical role in cardiovascular health.4 Curcumin’s direct impact on healthy circulation was measured using flow mediated dilation (FMD).
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed supplementing with 200 mg of curcumin had a clinically meaningful impact on potentially reducing cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent in healthy individuals.
As the buzz around turmeric and its active component, curcumin, continues to spread, market opportunities for these popular ingredients are expanding.
New research on curcumin’s role in sports nutrition and heart health proves companies are continuing to use a variety of innovative approaches to enhance curcumin’s bioavailability and differentiate their products.
This is an excerpt from the article, “Curcumin craze fueled by real science.” Download INSIDER’s Curcumin digital magazine to read the complete article.
Brian Appell is marketing manager at OmniActive Health Technologies.
1. Shen L et al. “Curcumin-supplemented diets increase superoxide dismutase activity and mean lifespan in Drosophila.” Age (Dordr). 2013;35:1133-42.
2. Jäger R et al. “Curcumin Reduces Muscle Damage and Soreness Following Muscle-Damaging Exercise.” The FASEB Journal. 2017;31:lb766.
3. Oliver J et al. “Novel Form of Curcumin Attenuates Performance Decrements Following Muscle Damaging Exercise.” The FASEB Journal. 2017;31:lb415.
4. Oliver J et al. “Novel form of curcumin improves endothelial function in young, healthy individuals: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.” J Nutr Met. 2016:1-6.